I’ve written of my son before: the way he paid the electric bill at the tender and mature age of four, how I saved him from a life of droopy-drawered ridiculosity.
The time I listened in on him and his cousin’s late-night cabin whisperings.
But did I tell you about the time he rebelled?
Honestly, there’s not a lot to rebel against with me. I’m a listener. There weren’t rules so much as there were firmly held suggestions (the toilet seat remains in the “down” position when not in use, Cool Whip is not a condiment, young ladies who treat your mother with disdain are not really dating material).
The Boy bandied the words “liberal” and “hippie” about as if they were bad things. Meanwhile, aside from the aforementioned electric-bill debacle, I cooked from scratch (most of the time), cleaned (quite often) and was open to anything he wanted to talk about (always).
Eventually, of course, he began to get hormonal on me.
In subtle ways, he changed. But it wasn’t until I got into his truck that I realized how much.
A truck! Let us look at this first. A truck. In a first-tier suburb of Minneapolis, a lovely area with mature trees and sidewalks. While the need for a pick-up truck was not clear to me, I played along.
You want a truck? Knock yourself out.
Where were we going the first time I got into it? I tossed my purse in first, climbed up into the cab of the truck, made a remark about the height of the vehicle. He smiles proudly and we tear off down the street as I am buckling up.
“Hey there, Mario Amphetamine! We’re law-abiding people!”
He takes his foot off the gas momentarily.
“That’s more like it!” I enthuse. With the departure of the G-forces, I peel my spine off the back of the seat. Secretly fearful I will find discarded condoms or evidence of Communism, I am careful about where I look.
One doesn’t want to learn too much too soon.
Dylan clicks around on his stereo, a piece of electronics that outclasses my first three sound systems in the same way that a house is an improvement over seeking shelter in a bush.
“You’ll like this,” he says, smiling. He turns it up to levels The Who would approve of.
But I don’t. It’s a twangy, predictable slice of Country Western music that I have a particular dislike for. Raised on swing and big band, my father was also partial to Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and, so help me, Conway Twitty.
I know what Country Western music is, and this ain’t it.
I grimace and say nothing.
“Did you see my gun rack?”
I turn around. Sure enough, there it is. This is where the rifles go.
“You got a lot of use for that?” I say.
He shrugs, smiling. “Deer hunting.”
I nod. We’re very much alike, but we’re also quite different. That’s what you get for procreating.
“I’m thinking of getting a cowboy hat,” he says.
The scales, as they say, fall from my eyes. I smile at him. “I know what you’re doing,” I say.
He turns, briefly, squints at me: oh, yeah?
“You’re rebelling! With your two kinds of music – that’s right! Country AND Western! – and the hunting and the gun rack! You’re rebelling against your liberal mother!” I smile at him, secure in my interpretation.
He looks horrified.
I lean over, pinch the available cheek. “Oh, you are just so adorable! Yes, you are! Yes, you are just so adorable!”
He pulls away, shakes me off him, laughingly tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.
But we both know that I do.
You know? He never did get that hat.
But he never misses deer season.
4 hours ago